The Nigerian versus the keto diet



Cauliflower rice and peppered gizzard
I started the keto /kee-toh/ diet about a year ago in early April, thinking about how I had a few months to get my summer body ready. I dived into it without doing adequate research so it was a struggle at first (Duh Bibi!). For those who don’t know what the keto diet is, in my simple terms (Don't quote me) – it is a diet that involves reducing your carbs intake to 20 grams (varies for different people) or less per day. Since carbs are the major source of energy for our body, removing carbs from your diet leads you to a state of ketosis /kɪˈtəʊsɪs/. This is when your body starts to use stored up fat as fuel for the body since carbs are unavailable, which leads to fat loss. The ratio of your daily food intake will be 65% fat:30% protein:5% carbs.
Lamb and cheesy eggs for breakfast

On the keto diet, I basically couldn't eat rice, beans (shocking right! beans has more carbs than protein), pasta, noodles, yam, sweets, sugar, bread, cereal, milk, pizza, quinoa, yam flour, Garri and many more carbs. I had to switch to avocado, eggs, meats, cheese, coconut oil, almond flour, coconut flour, very dark chocolate, cauliflower and other low-carb vegetables. I know, this is ridiculous. What a nightmare! 
Zucchini "flatbread"

But I kid you not, the keto diet can be enjoyed and most importantly it works! I say this because I enjoyed cooking Jollof cauliflower "rice" and purple cabbage eba a.k.a "ebage". This sparked kitchen creativity that I never thought I had. Additionally, I saw a significant reduction in my weight after being consistent on the keto diet for a month or so. However, in my opinion, I believe keto should be used to jumpstart the weight loss process and move gradually into a healthy lifestyle. I understand, sometimes we need a motivation like significant weight loss to prompt us into living the healthy life our doctors tell us about, its fine I don’t judge. Personally, it was not a long-term strategy for my weight loss journey and for living in Nigeria.
Spinach, berries, banana smoothie

I learnt a lot on the keto diet. Did you know that keto diet is great for women with PCOS, people with high blood pressure and diabetes? I found out from real life people I engaged with on the numerous keto groups on Facebook and  Instagram. They reported a significant improvement in their medical conditions after they started and were consistent with the keto diet. However, my doctor advised me to stop because my cholesterol level was alarming. Who am I to argue with my doctor? Actually, I intended to argue but he has the license and experience and I don't, so...case closed.


Keto diet tips

With the keto diet, consistency is key. If you are not consistent, you will gain a lot of weight in a very short period of time. Don't say I didn't warn you. If you are going to eat fats, do not dabble in carbs. Another thing is read as much as you can. A mistake I made when I started was not recognizing other names for sugar in things I thought were “low carb”. You have to be very conscious of things you buy at the supermarket. A general rule of thumb is to make everything yourself. There are a billion platforms out there with keto and low carb recipes. Homemade everything tastes better.

Another thing I would advise is monitoring your weight and evaluating your results. I failed to do these things when I was on the diet. The only thing that signified weight loss for me was how loose my clothes were and compliments from friends and family. There are many apps on app store and play-store for monitoring and evaluation. Get the "my fitness pal" app, log your foods daily and your weight bi-weekly.  Finally, pay close attention to meeting your daily macros (65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carbs).
In summary, I think the keto diet is something you can do to jumpstart your weight loss process. It sure helped me when I did it. Now what I do is conscious healthy eating, strict portion control and 16 hours intermittent fasting daily. 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the keto diet.

I also love to cook and take pictures of food, follow me on Instagram Forks_by_bibilamour, I follow back :).

With love,
Bibi L'amour

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